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Lake Albert, also Mwitanzige and formerly Lake Mobutu Sese Seko, is a lake located in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of the African Great Lakes. Lake Albert is Africa's seventh-largest lake, and the world's twenty-seventh largest lake by volume.[citation needed]

Lake Albert
Lake Albert (Uganda) (NASA).jpg
2002 NASA MODIS satellite picture. The dotted grey line is the border between Congo (DRC) (left) and Uganda (right).
Coordinates1°41′N 30°55′E / 1.683°N 30.917°E / 1.683; 30.917Coordinates: 1°41′N 30°55′E / 1.683°N 30.917°E / 1.683; 30.917
Primary inflowsVictoria Nile
Semliki River
Primary outflowsAlbert Nile
Basin countriesDemocratic Republic of Congo, Uganda
Max. length160 kilometres (99 mi)
Max. width30 kilometres (19 mi)
Surface area5,300 square kilometres (2,000 sq mi)
Average depth25 metres (82 ft)
Max. depth51 metres (167 ft)
Water volume132 cubic kilometres (32 cu mi)[1]
Surface elevation615 m (2,018 ft)
SettlementsButiaba, Pakwach



Lake Albert is located in the center of the continent, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lake Albert is the northernmost of the chain of lakes in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift.

It is about 160 km (100 mi) long and 30 km (19 mi) wide, with a maximum depth of 51 m (168 ft), and a surface elevation of 619 m (2,030 ft) above sea level.

Lake Albert is part of the complicated system of the upper Nile. Its main sources are the Victoria Nile, ultimately coming from Lake Victoria to the southeast, and the Semliki River, which issues from Lake Edward to the southwest. The water of the Victoria Nile is much less saline than that of Lake Albert. Its outlet, at the northernmost tip of the lake, is the Albert Nile, which becomes known as the Mountain Nile when it enters South Sudan.

At the southern end of the lake, where the Semliki comes in, there are swamps. Farther south looms the Ruwenzori Range, while a range of hills called the Blue Mountains tower over the northwestern shore. The few settlements along the shore include Butiaba and Pakwach.


Lake Albert was previously known as “Mwitanzige” by the Banyoro and Batooro, as well as other peoples who have been populated the region for centuries before the colonial age. In 1864, the explorers Samuel Baker and Sass Flóra found the lake[2] and renamed it after the recently deceased Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria. In the 20th century, Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko temporarily named the lake after himself.

European colonialists operated shipping on the lake. The British planned shipping on Lake Albert as part of a network of railway, river steamer and lake steamer services linking British interests in Egypt, east Africa and southern Africa. The John I. Thornycroft & Company shipyard at Woolston, Hampshire built the cargo and passenger ship SS Robert Coryndon for this purpose in 1930.[3] She was named after the British Army officer Robert Thorne Coryndon, who was governor of Uganda 1918-22.[4] Winston Churchill described the ship as "the best library afloat" and Ernest Hemingway called her "magnificence on water".[4] She either was scuttled in 1962[5] or sank in 1964.[4] She remains unsalvaged and partly submerged in the lake.[4][5]

Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil have announced major oil finds in the Lake Albert basin, with estimates that the multi-billion barrel field will prove to be the largest onshore field found in sub-saharan Africa for more than twenty years.[citation needed]

In March 2014, a boat carrying Congolese refugees capsized in Lake Albert, killing more than 250 people.[6]

On 26 December 2016, a boat carrying 45 members and fans of a local village football team capsized in Lake Albert killing at least 30 people. [7]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b The Nile Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Dorothy Middleton (2004). "Baker [née von Sass], Florence Barbara Maria, Lady Baker (1841–1916)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2015-09-11.
  3. ^ Jitze Couperus (2009-04-06). "Jitze Couperus". Biog: The World Biography Project. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  4. ^ a b c d "Behold, a Dream Unfulfilled". Ugandan Insomniac; Want to sleep, can't sleep. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  5. ^ a b "darbykj's photostream". Flickr. 2007-12-09. Retrieved 2011-05-18 – via Yahoo!.
  6. ^ "Uganda Lake Albert boat disaster 'killed 251 refugees'". BBC News. March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "At least 30 drown in Uganda Christmas drama on Lake Albert". MSN. Archived from the original on 2016-12-27.

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